first load help?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by emn83, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    Just got approval and ordered my first reloading set up, a RCBS RC Supreme master reloading kit, plus RCBS .308 dies and universal shell holder.
    I am also planning on getting the Hornady reloading handbook, in addition to the Speer handbook that comes with the kit.

    I am starting to do some research on loads for my rifle, and thought I'd ask here, since I've gotten a lot of good info so far.

    For Brass, I have: Hornady, Nosler, SSA and HSM. Most of it is Hornady and Nosler

    For Primers, I am thinking CCI Large Rifle primers

    I am planning on loading Hornady A-Max Bullets. Should I try 168 or 178gr first? any other bullet suggestions?

    For powder, I was looking at: Varget, CFE 223 or IMR 4064. Any thoughts?

    Any input on what I'm looking at, or other suggestions are very welcome.
     
  2. DirtyHarry

    DirtyHarry Member

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    I have the same press, and it has serviced me well for many years. I have the same reloading books, and both are great. My only suggestion is to get the Sierra book. It seems to me that there are more loads for heavier bullets, and this manual is also in a three ring binder format which is easy to update when needed.

    Components:

    I do not know what your plans or expectations are for your loads, but I would stick with one brand, and possibly the same lot of brass if you can. The idea of same lots and brands carry over to all components really. However, if you are just getting started then using what you have will make for good practice, and you can fine tune later. Most of my brass is Remington and Winchester, but better brass is out there. Lapua and Norma being premium.

    I like your primer selection. I have been using CCI primers alomst exclusively since I started reloading.

    As far as bullets go I usually try to go with the heaviest bullet possible, and the reasoning is two fold. First heavier bullets tend to have better sectional density. Second heavier bullets tend to have higher B.C.s. This is very important if you are wanting to tune a longrange load. However, you need to make sure that you match weaight of bullet to proper rate of twist in your barrel, or you won't be able to stablize the bullet. Personally, I shoot Berger bullets with great results, but Hornady makes great bullets as well.

    I do not shoot .308 win, but I do shoot 300 win mag. For me I have a dual purpose for my load. I like shooting longer ranges, and I need the load to preform in any weather condition for hunting. For these reasons, I use Hogdon Extreme powders. They seem to work as advertised when temperature is taken into account. Personally I use H1000 and H4831SC, the latter is for my 25-06. These are slower burning powders which work better with heavy bullets.

    I hope that this helps somewhat. There is nothing wrong with where you are starting, and I do not claim to know everything. I also have a long way to go in my reloading practices. Happy loading and shooting.
     

  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations!

    Read your loading manual until you fully understand it.

    Pick some components that make sense for your barrel twist and shooting objective.

    Make copious notes and only change one variable at a time.

    Get a chronograph as soon as you can afford it.

    Have fun and be safe!!
    Richard
     
  4. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys.

    DirtyHarry: Thanks for the help, the Sierra book is now on the list

    rscott5028: I plan on doing a LOT of reading. With the weather here, I don't plan on starting to actually reload before like late April. In the mean time, I plan on reading all the way through the Speer handbook I'm getting with the kit, and hopefully getting a Hornady handbook as well, and reading that. I'm also doing a lot of research on different reloading websites. I have a small notebook just for handloading now.

    My rifle is a Savage 308 with a 1:10 twist, so am I correct in thinking that the heaview 178gr would be better?

    My reloading is mainly to punch paper, but I want to work up a load for MN white tails also. I've read on this site that people use the A-Max for hunting as well as target, which was part of my reason for choosing them, in addition to the fact that they shoot well from my rifle
     
  5. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    The 178 AMAX is a good choice. If it fits your budget, use Lapua brass, CCI BR2 or Fed 210M primers, IMR4064 or Varget powder.

    -- richard
     
  6. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the help Richard...

    Because of my budget, and because I have it, I'll be playing around with the 400+ empty brass I have from Hornady, Nosler, SSA, HSM and Remington for now, see what works well.

    I'll be checking on the price for CCI BR-2, I can get CCI 200 for $4 for 100, thought I'd start with that, do small batch

    Varget and 4065 are $24/lb here for me, so I'll start with a pound of one or the other and see how it goes
     
  7. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about 4065, but Bart B says IMR4064 was the preferred powder for NRA High Power competition for many years with the 175 SMK.
     
  8. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    OOPS...Typo, I meant 4064, thanks for catching that...
     
  9. srlamy

    srlamy Well-Known Member

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    I have had great luck with 178 bthp hornady, the new ones they have high g7 and g1 bc and I can get them to 1200 yards with lapua brass and reloader 15. for hunting the 178 hornady amax will perform much like the bthp
     
  10. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    cool, thanks for the info...I'll look at the bthp and compare to the Amax
     
  11. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    My 308 is also a 10 twist savage its at its best with what Richard reccomended, 178 amax or bthp with varget and BR2s, next in line is 4064 then RE15, but the RE15 tends to give me better results with Fed210Ms. Another good one is 175 SMKs with Imr4895 and 210Ms. Good luck.
     
  12. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    Cool,...Thanks...I bought some CCI #200 primers because that's what the local store had, I'll check the price on BR-2 primers at a different store tomorrow, and picking up some 178gr AMax and Varget

    My reloading gear arrived today and I might not be able to wait till the garage warms up...good thing my kitchen table is a 50 year old monstrosity built by my grandpa of solid oak, it might just work for now
     
  13. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    I will say always start atleast 10% low, but the exact load I used to put 7 shots in a .271" group was sorted winchester brass fully prepped, neck sized with redding type s, using BR2s with 47grns of Varget with 178bthp's .010" in the lands, this is ABOVE max but shows no sign of pressure in my rifle, so if you try it work up with caution. Have fun!
     
  14. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    I was planning on starting at or near the minimum suggested powder weight and working up. I was thinking make 5 rounds each going up like .3gr intervals, or something like that...Really want to be careful since I am brand new